Oct 03, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy BA

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Philosophy trains your mind. As a philosophy major, you’ll get to ask the big questions about the nature of reality, beauty and justice-and study a rigorous methodology and analytical skills that are broadly applicable throughout your professional and personal life. Whether you’re thinking about graduate school (including law school or business school), or you want to get a job right after graduation, philosophy is a thoughtful choice that gives you flexibility.

Visit the Philosophy academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Philosophy department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Current UB students seeking admission to the Philosophy BA will be added to the major upon request by completing the College of Arts and Sciences Request to Change a Major - Form.

Course Requirements

One Metaphysics and Epistemology course (3 credits)

Six Philosophy Electives (18 credits)

  • Six PHI courses, four of which must be at the 300/400 level.
  • UB Seminar courses (198/199) are excluded.

Total Credits Required for Major: 33-34

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.


UB Seminar courses cannot count towards major requirements.

Academic Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.000 overall.

Program Honors and Program Distinction

A student in the Philosophy major is eligible for Program Distinction or Program Honors upon degree conferral if the criteria are met.  Criteria are found under Academic Honors in the Academic Policy and Procedure section of this Catalog. Students who successfully complete the honors program and meet the criteria will have the appropriate notation on their official transcript. Program Distinction is also noted on the official transcript.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

First Year Fall

Total Credits: 15 or 16

First Year Spring

Total Credits: 15 or 16

Second Year Fall

  • Math & Quantitative Reasoning Credits: 4
  • Scientific Literacy 1 Credits: 3
  • Logic PHI course Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3

Total Credits: 16

Second Year Spring

  • Scientific Literacy 2 Credits: 3
  • Scientific Literacy Lab Credits: 1
  • History of Philosophy course Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 16

Third Year Fall

  • History of Philosophy course Credits: 3
  • Communication Literacy 2 Credits: 3
  • Metaphysics/Epistemology PHI course Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 15

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 16

Fourth Year Fall

  • PHI 300+ Level Elective Credits: 3
  • PHI 300+ Level Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 2

Total Credits: 14

Fourth Year Spring

  • PHI 300+ Level Elective Credits: 3
  • PHI 300+ Level Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3

Total Credits: 12

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • Developing writing skills to effectively communicate an argument and supporting reasons
    • Develop the ability to communicate complex ideas clearly
    • Develop the ability to evaluate and critique arguments
    • Develop the ability to present a position and defend it from critique
  • Develop sophisticated analytical skills that can be used across subject domains
    • Develop the ability to identify and critique arguments in scholarly research and popular media
    • Develop the ability to evaluate arguments for validity and soundness
  • Develop a better understanding of normative considerations across subject domains
    • Develop an understanding of personal and professional moral obligations
    • Develop an understanding of foundational questions of justice and fairness

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